The young ruler took a radically different path to his father, one that earned him the opportunity to outsmart Donald Trump
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump shake hands at the conclusion of their meeting in Singapore.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump shake hands at the conclusion of their meeting in Singapore. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP
Kim Jong-un was never destined to rule North Korea. It was never preordained he would be the one to accelerate the isolated nation’s nuclear weapons program, and force the US president, Donald Trump, to sit down for a meeting of equals.
Donald Trump shrugs off Kim’s human rights record: ‘He’s a tough guy’
But through a combination of ruthless ambition and luck, Kim achieved what no other leader of North Korea has, recognition as the head of a nuclear power and international statesman. The boy dictator went head-to-head with Trump and won.
“More than 40% of the minors arrested were taken from home in the middle of the night, after being woken up.In some cases, the arrest is carried out quietly: soldiers knock on the door, wait for it to be opened, ask a few questions, tell the parents to wake up their son, and allow him to get dressed.”
It continues, after noting the terror this procedure strikes in the hearts of these ordinary Palestinians,
“With rare exceptions, the soldiers handcuff the minors as soon as they arrest them, or immediately after leaving the home. The reports indicate that in about 80% of the cases, the soldiers also blindfold the minors. In this state, the minors are then transported . . . Many of the minors reported that during transit, soldiers swore at them,
threatened them and even beat them.”
The Israeli army takes away the children, sometimes in the dark of night, without informing the parents of the minors.
“What the world needs is less nationalism and more internationalism.”
North Korean Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol met with President Donald Trump at the White House this week. As part of its efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, the Trump administration is conducting negotiations with one of the world’s most brutal regimes. Human Rights Watch has described North Korea’s political prison camps as “the modern day equivalent of the Russian Gulag where prisoners are starved, beaten, tortured and worked to death.” North Korean guards club starving children to death for stealing rice, a UN report explained. Mothers have reportedly been required to observe the infanticide of their newborn babies as a form of punishment.
Despite these ongoing, egregious human rights violations, the White House is pursuing talks with Pyongyang to further U.S. interests. Washington’s engagement with Kim Jong Un makes its policy of refusing to speak with the Palestinian leadership in Gaza even more confounding. While Hamas has carried out horrific attacks, it would be hard to argue that the Islamist group’s actions, especially those in the past year, are more abhorrent than those of North Korea. If advancing U.S. interests is enough of a reason to negotiate with North Korea despite the government’s egregious human rights record, then the same logic must be considered with Hamas.
Members of the Coeur d’Alene, or Schitsu’umsh, Tribe on the Desmet Reservation in Idaho circa 1907. (Wikimedia Commons)
This knowledge seems rudimentary, and yet it’s not: The same ships that transported the “American dream” from 15th century Europe likewise delivered a nightmare to indigenous lands now known as America—a nightmare that would persist for centuries for millions of indigenous people, African slaves and their many descendants. But it was far beyond a nightmare. It all was callously and painfully real.
This knowledge also seems rudimentary, and yet it’s not: Indigenous communities today bear the stubborn scars and residual societal ills stemming directly from colonization: being dehumanized, disenfranchised and imprisoned in our own lands, confined to desolate reservations, and brutally ripped from the lifeways and teachings that sustained us for millennia.
Palestine has submitted a formal referral to the International Criminal Court in the Hague over Israeli sniping with live fire at peaceful Gaza protesters this spring, which killed some 60 persons and literally wounded thousands.
Palestine, which is a cautious and timid government, had earlier declined to go to the ICC, in hopes instead of reaching a negotiated settlement. The Trump decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, however, forestalled a negotiated settlement on that issue. Israel’s illegal flooding of its citizens onto Palestinian property in the West Bank and refusal to negotiate any freeze in squatter settlements has also convinced Palestine that the US-Israeli “peace process” is a cover for slow genocide. Ironically, it was Trump’s lack of diplomatic grace that in large part impelled this step.
Days after the Parkland shooting, Trump said that elected officials should be ready to “fight” the powerful NRA lobby group. Early this month he embraced that group, telling its annual meeting in Dallas “your Second Amendment rights are under siege” and, as long as he was President, their guns would never be taken away.
Israel has made many such changes to Occupied Territories. For example, the Golan Heights still belongs to Syria despite the many illegal settlements built there, however much stolen oil is extracted there, or however many field hospitals for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and Al-Qaeda fighters Israel erects there. That like Jerusalem, the Golan has been illegally annexed makes no difference at all in law nor to every other government in the world. Except Trump’s government.
Donald Trump’s trashing of the Iran nuclear deal this week was not just an attack on Iranian sovereign interests. The US president was also poking European allies in the eye.
How obscenely ironic. Embassies traditionally symbolize diplomacy and peace. The opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem was occasioned by a grotesque baptism of murder of Palestinians, heralding wider war in the Middle East.
Donald Trump thrives on chaos, and where it does not already exist he seeks ways to create it.
It seems he believes chaos will throw up unexpected opportunities where more considered and cautious approaches have produced nothing but a logjam.
Certainly the Middle East looks like a series of immense logjams. Others, such as Mr Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, may prefer to loosen them with a crowbar after weighing carefully the likely consequences; Mr Trump reaches for the dynamite.
Negotiated in July 2015, the deal, officially dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, stipulated that Iran rid itself of nuclear fuel if the United States waived sanctions that had been crippling the nation’s economy. As part of the deal, a UN nuclear agency would monitor Iran’s fidelity to the agreement and, thus far, the agency has determined that Iran has complied. After 10 years, restrictions on research and development would lighten, and after 15 years, Iran would be able to produce nuclear fuel, but not in service of a weapons program. Along with the lack of a provision preventing Iran from testing ballistic missiles, this “sunset clause” has been pointed to by Trump as one of the principle reasons the deal is a “disaster.”
Here are three immediate takeaways from Trump’s decision today.
1. Iran is now free to build a nuclear bomb
2. Trump’s decision will likely alienate allies
3. The abandonment may hinder an impending deal with North Korea
Making policy by destroying the reputations of middle management in the government is of course highly destructive to the democratic process.
Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker now reports that the Trump aides who targeted former Obama administration officials Ben Rhodes and Colin Kahl used the Israeli Black Cube agency, the same one deployed by Harvey Weinstein to keep his many victims of sexual harassment in line. It advertises itself as being able to provide the best former Mossad agents for the job (but if they are the best why are they former?)
I mind this behavior quite a lot and fear it won’t get the traction it deserves among the press and the public.
US President Donald Trump’s new lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the President repaid his personal lawyer Michael Cohen for a $US130,000 ($179,000) payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump reimbursed the money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, according to Giuliani
Trump had told reporters that he was not aware of the payment and that he didn’t know where Cohen had gotten the money.
Giuliani made the revelation during an appearance on Fox News’ Hannity.
Demographers tell us that the United States of America will sometime, in the next couple of decades, become the first nation on Earth to be majority minority. For many of us, that is a cause for celebration. It is, in part, what makes this country so unique and miraculous.
For many Americans — particularly those white Americans who have in one way or another benefited from the privileges that come with their particular skin tone — this is a very scary thing. It’s becoming more and more difficult to say with certainty what it means to be “American.” As everyone knows, the easiest way to identify yourself is in opposition to another. Thus, a large swath of Americans feel as though their very identity is under attack. They are desperately looking for scapegoats, for opposing forces to help them define who they are.
Personally, I believe that historical rendering of events is not only categorically wrong, it is simply dangerous because it condones the utterly reckless behavior displayed by the Trump administration as a method for solving crisis.
TRUMP: A percentage of the legal work, a tiny, tiny fraction, but Michael would represent me, and represent me on some things. He represents me with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal. He represented me and, you know, from what I see, he did absolutely nothing wrong. There were no campaign funds.
It was a promise of trickle down Bullshit and Trump delivered
“President Trump and Republicans gave huge tax cuts to big drug companies, big oil, and other corporations, but corporations are giving back little—if anything—to working families.”
“We have never had a president, at least in the modern era, whose statements and actions are so at odds with democratic ideals,” she writes in her chapter on the US. “[Donald] Trump has spoken harshly about the institutions and principles that make up the foundation of open government, in the process he has systematically degraded political discourse in the US, shown an astonishing disregard for facts, libelled his predecessor, threatened to lock up political rivals, bullied members of his own administration, referred to mainstream journalists as enemies of the American people, spread falsehoods about the integrity of the US electoral process, touted mindlessly nationalistic economic and trade policies and nurtured a paranoid bigotry toward the followers of one of the world’s foremost religious.”
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a plan to revise existing tailpipe standards that were going to apply for model years 2022 to 2025, saying the current standards “are not appropriate” and were set “too high.” Pruitt also said the EPA is re-examining the state of California’s historic ability to adopt tailpipe standards that are more ambitious than the federal government’s.
These days, there’s a significant consensus here that the Iraq invasion was a “terrible mistake,” a “tragic error,” or even the “single worst foreign policy decision in American history.” Fewer voices are saying what it really was: a war crime. In fact, that invasion fell into the very category that led the list of crimes at the Nuremberg tribunal, where high Nazi officials were tried for their actions during World War II. During the negotiations establishing that tribunal and its rules, it was (ironically, in view of later events) the United States that insisted on including the crime of “waging a war of aggression” and on placing it at the head of the list. The U.S. position was that all the rest of Germany’s war crimes sprang from this first “crime against peace.”
Twenty-six years ago the Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of its military commitments, its oppressive surveillance bureaucracy, and its regime’s loss of legitimacy. That experience has lessons for Trump’s America writes Ian McAuley.
Like many American presidents before him, Donald Trump held court in the East Room of the White House, surrounded by chandeliers, gold curtains, mirrors and portraits of George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt. He had a message for the press: “You know, I read where, ‘Oh, gee, maybe people don’t want to work for Trump.’ Believe me, everybody wants to work in the White House … I could take any position in the White House, and I’ll have a choice of the 10 top people having to do with that position. Everybody wants to be there.”
Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn quits
That was around 3.45pm on Tuesday at a press conference. Less than two hours later, the White House that everyone wants to work for was struggling to explain its latest empty desk. Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic adviser, had decided to walk away.
Another one bites the dust. There has never been such a rapid turnover of personnel in a US administration in modern times. If anything, the stampede to the exits appears to be accelerating, raising fears of a “brain drain” that will leave key jobs unfilled and make it ever harder to recruit new talent.
Austin, Texas: Deadly poisonings and attacks on Kremlin-linked figures are likely to meet little resistance from the White House, an American defence expert says.
As Cold War-era understandings on permissible spy behaviour unravel, there has been little US pressure to counter Russia’s suspected activities, Georgetown University national security professor Mark Jacobson told Fairfax Media.
“During the Cold War the Soviets were constrained by the threat of a US reaction,” Jacobson said. “Today there is no threat of action by this White House.”
Steele compiled a dossier containing astonishing allegations against the then presidential candidate, including a claim the Russians had cultivated Mr Trump and traded favours with him for at least five years, and handed him intelligence from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton and other political rivals.
The Telegraph reported that if the Kremlin believed Skripal helped compile the Trump dossier, it could provide a motive for the assassination attempt in Salisbury.
A former Russian construction magnate told Channel 4 News Skripal was “working in cyber-security and every month going to the [Russian] embassy to meet military intelligence officers”.
The Telegraph said a “hit squad” was dispatched by the Kremlin to assassinate Skripal, to send a message that traitors were not tolerated.
Why spin the unspinnable? Just leave it out there as it is, Sarah. “The president is speaking for himself” is all that needed to be said.
Some of the biggest names in corporate America are coming under mounting pressure to cut ties with the National Rifle Association as gun safety activists on Friday intensified calls for a boycott in the wake of last week’s Florida high school massacre.
In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behaviour is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system – a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any US president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.
What Robert Mueller delivered in Friday’s indictment were the first charges for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. He is getting to the heart of the matter.
Robert Mueller charges 13 Russians with interfering in US election to help Trump
The special counsel also buried once and for all Donald Trump’s mealy-mouthed obfuscations over whether Russia was responsible for this confidence trick of breathtaking scope and scale. Former CIA director-general Michael Hayden has described it as the political equivalent of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
But what Mueller has not yet produced is compelling evidence that demonstrates the president or his campaign knowingly coordinated with Russians to cheat Hillary Clinton out of the election.
It’s so heartwarming to hear this from the man who promised to end “this American carnage” in his inaugural address. Of course, at the time he was talking about gang murders, just as he did in his State of the Union address last month.
He must have forgotten to mention school shootings with assault weapons, like the AR-15 used at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. It was the same assault weapon used at the Sutherland Springs church in Texas in November. It was the same assault weapon used in the Las Vegas massacre the month before that.
It’s as if no politician could talk about protecting airplane cockpits after 9/11 because all we could was pray and send our condolences.
Trump’s refusal to release the response of the Democratic minority on the House Intelligence Committee to the declassified Nunes memo cherry-picking intelligence reports has been decried as a politicization of intelligence. It has been pointed out by legal scholar Laurence Tribe that Congress could in any case override Trump and declassify the Democratic response itself, if the GOP representatives wanted to. So this controversy isn’t about Trump or Nunes. It is about a Republican Party determined not to play fair.
While these analyses is certainly correct, they miss a crucial problem with our declining democracy in the United States: classified documents are inherently undemocratic and should be rare.
Both Trump and Netanyahu want to secure their rule by attacking liberal, democratic forces. But in order to do so, they need two things: a wall and the promise of eternal war.
The Game Plan
Nunes and Trump know that Rupert Murdoch’s lying Fox Cable News will be happy to become The Nunes Memo Network 24/7. They know that Sinclair radio stations (which have virtually taken over radio news nationally) will play it up big time. They know that NewsMax and Breitbart and other right wing webzines will beat this drum continually. They know that YouTube celebrities with millions of followers such as Alex Jones will spread the word of the perfidy of the FBI, or the “Kenyan FBI” as they likely will call it.
They already have 36% of voters and just need to create doubts in or support for Trump in 15% of voters who are independents, and they keep winning politically.
Research shows that people with idees fixes don’t change their minds just because they are presented with factual information that challenges them. In fact, they dig in. Thus, by the time the minority Democratic report comes out, many Republicans will be so wedded to the Nunes narrative that it will be very difficult to dislodge their certainty.
This photo alone shows the power of the media to misinform.
President Trump during the 2018 State of the Union address. (D. Myles Cullen / White House)
The whole thing is kind of silly.
That’s kind of how the State of the Union speech is. What’s the point anymore? These annual pomp-and-circumstance State of the Union speeches are only about 100 years old. Before that, the updates were simply written.
Our entertainment devices have changed. Now, we have the internet, we have news websites, we have 24-hour news stations galore.
Not to mention Twitter.
Do we really need a president to give, in a formal annual speech, his self-interested perspective of what’s going on?
Of course, presidents—no matter who—are going to say that they are the greatest thing since McRib sandwiches.
Now, with Bannon out, we enter the uncharted waters of having a president whose chief strategist is the television. No staff member has replaced Bannon; the new power behind the throne is Fox & Friends.
Trump has threatened to ‘open-up’ U.S. libel laws, sue news outlets, and subject their broadcast licenses to review. He regularly attacks outlets and individual journalists on Twitter and in speeches, calling them “sad,” “failing,” or “garbage.” Since declaring his presidential candidacy in 2015, Trump has posted about 1,000 tweets critical of the press. CPJ research shows that when public figures and political leaders lob insults at the media, they encourage self-censorship and expose journalists to unnecessary risk.
Even if Trump doesn’t read, can’t follow a logical argument, and has the attention span of a fruit fly, it still doesn’t follow that he’s stupid.
There’s another form of intelligence, called “emotional intelligence.”
“This is a historic event that we have been waiting for,” an extremist member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party said.
The latest radical move by hardline Zionists in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party could see Israel´s government annex all of the occupied West Bank, incorporating most of historic Palestine into the Israeli state.
The central committee of the right-wing party overwhelmingly voted on Sunday for a resolution urging Likud parliamentarians to push for the annexation of the territories that are already illegally-held.
“If the president of the United States believes Jerusalem is ours, there is no reason why a right-wing party and coalition cannot. It’s important for us to show Trump what the ruling party in Israel wants, and since he loves the Jewish people, sooner or later, he will come to the same conclusion,” the activist added.
So here are the top drawbacks for the Northeast of climate change, which rather cast into the shade a mere cold snap or two.
US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that vote in favour of a draft United Nations resolution calling for the United States to withdraw its decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
But the internet service providers– corporations such as Verizon and Comcast, were deeply unhappy about the neutrality, the liberty of the internet. They would like to charge MSNBC millions of dollars a year to deliver their news site to the public. What they have in mind is to create lanes on the internet– fast lanes and slow lanes.
It has been demonstrated that if a web site takes a little longer than usual to download, readers simply close the page and go on to another site. So the sites slotted into the slow lane over time will lose all their readers.
And you get slotted in the slow lane because you cannot pay the millions for delivery of your site that MSNBC or Fox can.
In other words, fast lanes and slow lanes wipe out the diversity of the internet and deliver it into the hands of a few billionaires and of governments such as the Russian Federation, who can pay for a fast lane.
It would be as though all highways in the US cost $1,000 to get on each day, and if you couldn’t pay that, you’d have to use surface roads, service roads and dirt roads to get where you are going. Billionaires could get on the highway because for a billionaire $1000 is chump change.
“Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump,” the president tweeted.